Mandan, ND: The first of the trials from the November 15, 2106 action in commemoration of missing and murdered indigenous women concluded today. Water Protector Rodrick Joe was convicted of Tampering with a Public Service, a Class C felony.
“I was there to support my indigenous sisters,” said Joe upon sentencing. “There are still people out there killing and raping our women. It happens to all indigenous women everywhere. I want to bring awareness to it. People need to realize that this is happening in our country.”
On why he came to Standing Rock, Joe said: “Back on the Navajo reservation our water is already contaminated. I have relatives who got cancer from drinking that water. So I wanted to take this chance to stand with my people.”
Joe was sentenced to a 360 days deferred sentence with mandatory fees not to exceed the bond amount, and with credit for two days of time already served. He was released immediately after trial and sentencing.
Joe was the first of over 20 Water Protectors going to trial during the coming weeks from that arrest date. Most are facing felony charges. The next group of three will be tried tomorrow, January 5, 2018 in Morton County.
Over 300 Water Protectors are still awaiting trial on state charges in North Dakota, and six Water Protectors are preparing for federal criminal trials.